On Wednesday November 14th, newly re-elected American President Barack Obama observed the auspicious holiday of Diwali, or festival of lights, in the East Room of the White House. Also, on November 13th, the White House hosted a Divali event where ISKCON representatives were also invited.
By dissecting the so-called impregnable wall between state and religion, a new book demonstrates how religion persists as a strong element of on both sides of political debate, how we can recognize and understand it, and why we need more of it.
After celebrating Diwali last year by lighting a ceremonial diya, US President Barack Obama celebrated Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with bhangra beats that he said had probably not been heard in the White House before.
A White House advisory council on March 9 submitted 164 pages of recommendations on ways the federal government can better partner with faith-based groups in tackling a host of social problems, from poverty to improving interfaith relations.
American foreign policy is handicapped by a narrow, ill-informed and "uncompromising Western secularism" that feeds religious extremism, threatens traditional cultures and fails to encourage religious groups that promote peace and human rights, according to a two-year study by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
How's this for an early Diwali gift for Hindu-Americans (and, perhaps, Hindus around the world): President Barack Obama lit a ceremonial diya (traditional candle) and delivered a characteristically smooth speech in which he declared that he was happy to join "some of the world's greatest faiths" in celebrating a holiday that heralds "the triumph of good over evil."
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